Plant recommendations

2019 All-America Selections: Tested Garden Favorites

Each November, January and July, All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization that tests new plants for home gardeners, announces its winning plants from the previous season. The plants are all new to the market and all of them have undergone extensive testing in trial gardens around the country. (One of those gardens is in Morris, Minnesota,…

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All-America Selections for 2018

Each year, new plants are tested at almost 200 public and university gardens around the country to help choose plants that will be labeled All-America Selections winners. These plants are considered stalwart performers either all over the United States or for a specific region, and generally an AAS label means the plant is going to…

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Plant Profile: Sun King Japanese Spikenard

I tour a lot of gardens in the summer, and sometimes, you just keep noticing the same plant showing up in one beautiful garden after another. There’s something right about that plant. This summer, the plant was golden Japanese spikenard or techincally Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’. This bright plant grows best in shady areas where…

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Raspberry Memories

August always reminds me of picking raspberries for my grandma when I was a little girl. She had several rows of raspberry bushes in her garden, and I was small enough to maneuver deep into the growth. Two raspberries would go in the little green berry basket, and one would be popped into my mouth,…

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New Plants, Good Food—What's Not to Love?

Spring seems determined to make an early entrance to Minnesota this year, getting gardeners all excited about planting and nurturing their gardens. Hold off, folks! You know a freeze is in our future. Still, one of the best ways to get ready for the garden year, is to attend the MSHS Garden Gala, an annual…

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Spring Garden Gala Registration Opens Today

Is it too early for thinking about spring? Not if you are thinking about going to the annual MSHS Spring Garden Gala to be held April 1, 2016 at Vadnais Heights Commons Event Center in Vadnais Heights. Registration for this event, which is often sold-out, opens today. The Spring Garden Gala, formerly called Spring at…

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Plant Profile: Lilac

Does any plant say spring in northern gardens quite like lilacs? With their lush scent and pretty purple or white blooms, lilacs reach their peak in late May to early June. The old-fashioned common lilac ((Syringa vulgaris) typically grows well over 10 feet tall and wide and can be grouped to form a dense hedge.…

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U of M Master Gardener Flower Trials

The March/April issue of Northern Gardener has the results of the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener vegetable trials. These are very useful for gardeners deciding which varieties to grow in their gardens. But, did you know that the Master Gardeners also test annuals each year as well? We don’t usually have room to include…

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Best Plants for Butterflies

Friday’s post on the best plants for bees and other pollinators has been very popular, so we wanted to follow up with this post on Heather Holm’s suggestions for the best plants for butterflies. Heather is a Minnesota gardener and expert on pollinators. Her book, Pollinators of Native Plants, has been favorably reviewed in Northern…

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Best Plants for Bees and Other Pollinators

The gardening adage that you should put the right plant in the right place applies to gardening for bees and other pollinators as well. During the District 7 Spring Fling last Saturday, author Heather Holm offered a helpful list of which are the best plants for bees and other pollinators, depending on the soil and…

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